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Artificial Intelligence or intelligent artifices?

The so called “strong Artificial Intelligence” (AI) has some relations with evolutionism because both imply a “more” coming from a “less” and both are products of a materialist reductionist worldview. In evolutionism they believe that life arises from non life, and, similarly, in AI they believe that the intelligent comes from the non intelligent, that “machines can think”. To try to experimentally prove this last claim it was even developed a test, called “Turing test”.

“The Turing test [TT] is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of an actual human. In the original illustrative example, a human judge engages in a natural language conversation with a human and a machine designed to generate performance indistinguishable from that of a human being. All participants are separated from one another. If the judge cannot reliably tell the machine from the human, the machine is said to have passed the test.” (from Wikipedia)

First of all, I have to state the total metaphysical absurdity of AI per se. Intelligence (“thinking”, like consciousness, free will, reason, etc. is simply one of the consequences of intellect) is virtually a connection between the knowledge of the Being and the comprehension of a living being (see here). A machine cannot be basis for such connection in principle. Therefore, according to metaphysics, “artificial intelligence” is pure nonsense, a monstrous oxymoron. Whoever has the least idea of the former cannot avoid to consider AI a deceit.

Secondarily, a test dedicated to verify if “machines can think” suffers of other minor procedural defects.

1) Identical effects may have entirely different cause. For example, a singer and a CD-player can output exactly the same song, despite of they are fully different things. Identical actions/behaviors may have different motivations/intentions. So effects alone cannot identify causes. One cannot judge reality from appearance or simulation. Resemblance is not identity. This is also the opinion of John Searle when he rightly says that simulation of thinking is not proof of real thinking.

2) The problem of “the range of questions”. In the TT the “humans” (both the examined and the examiner) are not enough specified. Humans have different knowledge, so how does the examiner/judge choose the inquiry fields? For example, if the judge is a good mathematician could ask a question about ─ say ─ the symbolic solutions of a differential equation. If the human under inquiry is not a mathematician and the computer was not programmed in advanced infinitesimal calculus, both are unable to answer and the TT declares parity. It doesn’t exist a standard “human” knowledge, so the TT cannot be considered standard as well. If you change the human under test and/or the judge and/or the programmer you could get an entirely different result. In other words the TT is subjective, not objective. As such it cannot pretend to be considered scientific.

3) The problem that the questions are function of the answers. Example, if I ask Jack and Tom “What do you like?” and they respectively answer “I like music” and “I like sport”, then my next question will be for the former “Why do you like music?” and for the latter “Why do you like sport?”. At this point the conversation diverges and cannot be shared any more, as the TT specifies. See this fact in the examples of TT below.

At the very end, a TT on a computer, if truth be told, is a test on the programmer who has programmed the computer, by using “intelligent artifices”. It is the programmer who thinks, not the machine. In the following, let’s try to think about tests a computer would likely fail, because involve things that are hard to program. For example, when the TT is something like this:

TT about the ontological hierarchy.

Judge: “What’s your name?”.
T1: “Jack”.
T2: “Tom”.

Judge: “What writes this?”.
T1: “My fingers”.
T2: “My output device”.

Judge: “What drives your fingers | output devices? [the judge is forced to ask T1 and T2 different things, see above the #3 point]“.
T1: “My brain”.
T2: “My CPU”.

Judge: “What drives your brain | CPU?”.
T1: “My mind”.
T2: “My software”.

Judge: “What drives your mind | software?”.
T1: “The Self”. [I assume T1 knows metaphysics]
T2: “The programmer”.

Judge: “What drives the Self | programmer?”.
T1: “The Self is driven by nothing”.
T2: “5.$%39..:-#”.

The judge can reliably tell the human is T1 while the machine is T2 because T2 doesn’t recognize the top of the ontological hierarchy and eventually falls into a loop.

TT about language and meta-language.

It is likely that a computer fails the TT when the question involves distinctions between language and meta-language, which are hard to recognize in the natural speaking.

Judge: “[1] Apple. [2] What I just said is not apple. [3] Do you think it is correct that ‘apple’ is not ‘apple’?”.
T1: “I think there could be a trick in #3 because in #2 you could mean that #1 is simply a word, not a real apple”.
T2: “I think your #3 is incorrect because ‘apple’ is always ‘apple’”.

The judge can reliably tell the human is T1 while the machine is T2 because T2 lacks the ability to distinguish between language and meta-language.

TT about jokes.

Judge: “[Invents and tells a new joke] J1. What do you think of my J1?”.
T1: “It is funny (or similar)”.
T2: “X [not 'funny' or similar inside; it doesn't understand the humor]“.

Judge: “Tell something similar to my J1.”.
T1: “J2 [another joke]“.
T2: “&^._=jf@h [not a joke]“.

As known, jokes are difficult to understand and even more difficult to invent, given their subtle semantic traps and their complex linguistic squirms. The judge can reliably tell the human is T1 while the machine is T2 because T2 lacks the sense of humor, either as understanding it or as inventing it. Twice it appears unable to appreciate it.

TT about invention and intelligent design.

Judge: “Invent and describe at the functional block level a machine to pick up the apples dropped from the tree”.
T1: “We have to design a robot-machine composed of: a microprocessor, a vehicle, an arm to pick the apple, a container, a battery, a lot of actuators, a lot of sensors…; they must be connected this way…”.
T2: “vc9}l#fg..$”.

The judge can reliably tell the human is T1 while the machine is T2 because T2 lacks the capacity of invention and design.

After all, systems which one claims to be thinking have to be tested about the eminent functions of a thinking mind. If we have to test a car, whose main function is to run, we will prove it by driving it in on the road. If we have to test mind we should prove it about understanding, invention and design, which are among its highest functions.

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18 Responses to Artificial Intelligence or intelligent artifices?

  1. Thanks niwrad, another keeper. It will go extremely well with this reference:

    Algorithmic Information Theory, Free Will and the Turing Test – Douglas S. Robertson

    Excerpt: Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory shows that information is conserved under formal mathematical operations and, equivalently, under computer operations. This conservation law puts a new perspective on many familiar problems related to artificial intelligence. For example, the famous “Turing test” for artificial intelligence could be defeated by simply asking for a new axiom in mathematics. Human mathematicians are able to create axioms, but a computer program cannot do this without violating information conservation. Creating new axioms and free will are shown to be different aspects of the same phenomena: the creation of new information.
    http://cires.colorado.edu/~dou...../info8.pdf

  2. niwrad:

    Thank you for keeping our attention on these fundamental issues.

    The Turing test will never be passed, for the simple reason that no machine can generate “a natural language conversation”. Indeed, no machine can generate new original language, least of all an original conversation. This is one of the strong consequences of ID theory. Machines can generate no new, original dFSCI.

    The reason for that is simple. Machines are not conscious, and therefore they are not intelligent. Intelligence is a property of consciousness. Non conscious entities cannot be intelligent.

    It is true that any degree of intelligent organisation can be imprinted in a machine, because a machine is a designed object. But the only original intelligence in the machine is the intelligent form imprinted by the intelligent designer, and its computable consequences.

    A machine cannot understand any meaning, because meaning is an experience in consciousness. Therefore, all apparent dealing with meanings in a machine is relative to the formal properties connected to meanings that have been programmed in it by the designer.

    A machine cannot have purposes, because purpose is an experience in consciousness. All apparent purposeful behaviour of a machine is only the consequence of the original purposes programmed in it by the intelligent designer.

    A machine cannot have feelings. For it, nothing is good, nothing is bad. It can be programmed by the intelligent designer to connect some forms to a category called good, and some others to a category called bad, but it will never feel any difference between good and bad, because it is not conscious, and it cannot feel. So, any original “conversation” about good, bad and feelings can never be done with a machine.

    A machine has no self. It has no simple “I” that perceives all the modifications that happen in it. It has no unity, it is not a perceiver, it is not a subject. It is merely a collection of parts. A circuit that makes a simple computation in a simple calculator is in no way different from the same circuit that makes computations in a very complex parallel computer.

    Some say that the structure of the computation can at some point generate consciousness. This is absurd. The structure of the computation can generate only one thing: the computation itself. Nothing else.

    Some say that a complex, parallel, you name it, computer can in some way “look” at itself. That is ridiculous, a joke and a folly. A computer cannot “look” at anything. If it could, it would already be conscious. To affirm that consciousness arises from the ability of “looking” at oneself is like saying that cold arises from cold, or that stupidity arises from stupidity.

    A loop is not conscious. It is a loop, a tool for calculation programmed by a conscious itelligent designer. For the rest, it is simply matter, like a table or a stone. A stone does not become conscious beacuse it is sculpted in a square form. In the same way, a circuit does not become conscious because it is programmed in a loop (or a billion loops, if you want).

    Frankly, I am rather tired, cognitively and morally, of all this foolishness that can be called “strong AI theory”. Consciousness exists. We observe it every day. Biased people who want to deny its fundamental properties to avoid accepting it as a fact in their maps of reality can go on trying to invent senseless “theories” that explain nothing and are at the same time laughable and sad.

    I have said it many times, and I will say it again: consciousness needs not be “explained”, because it is a fact. As all other facts, it can be empirically studied, and its connection with other facts can and must be the object of science.

    A simple example. I affirm, as I have always done, that consciousness, and only consciousness, can generate new original dFSCI. This is a simple empirical statement about facts, and can certainly be analyzed and tested empirically. Everyday experience confirms it, and will confirm it again and again. Nobody has been able to falsify it. This is what science is about.

  3. There are very significant efforts ongoing that try to build synthetic brains or semiconductor brains. See for example the IBM cognitive computing initiative, the DARPA SyNAPSE project and the Blue Brain Project. This last project home page is titled: “Artificial Brains” and sub-titled: “The quest to build sentient machines”.

    The IBM home page is headed by this title and question: “New ways of thinking” and “Can a computer be made to think like a human? / The principles of cognitive computing say yes”

    From IBM web page:

    Meeting of the minds

    Researchers at IBM have been working on a cognitive computing project called Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics (SyNAPSE). By reproducing the structure and architecture of the brain—the way its elements receive sensory input, connect to each other, adapt these connections, and transmit motor output—the SyNAPSE project models computing systems that emulate the brain’s computing efficiency, size and power usage without being programmed.

    IBM is combining principles from nanoscience, neuroscience and supercomputing as part of a multi-year cognitive computing initiative. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded approximately US$21 million in new funding for phase 2 of the SyNAPSE project. For this project, a world-class, multi-dimensional team has been assembled, consisting of IBM researchers and collaborators from Columbia University; Cornell University; University of California, Merced; and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    I spent several months ago some time searching the IBM web sites and other related sites to try to understand where the advances are made (or claimed to be made) on this research and well-funded project. I was left with the impression that although some interesting ideas may have been promoted, this is just a huge experiment to create more of a test-bed on which additional future expanded experiments can be run. It is quite possible that some useful high-concurrency military applications may emerge from such initiatives. But my impression (and speculation) is that another result of this research might be to show how intangible the secrets of the brain and more so of the mind and conscientious life will prove to be.

    Now coming back to gpuccio’s clear affirmations.

    Isn’t it a paradox that a lucid evaluation of what the last centuries of scientific and technology progress appear to reveal more clearly everyday that:

    * we live in a truly miraculous world

    * there are so many things that science are far from fully or some time event partially understand:

    – how the brain works?
    – how the mind works (in conjunction with brain or maybe not)
    – what is the secret of conscientious life?
    – why we cannot build artificial intelligence (or an artificial mind)
    – what is life? We started dancing on the periphery of the miracles of life and everyday the promise of fully understand it becomes more remote
    – how Earth was created? How our planetary system came to be? How the whole Universe come into existence?

    * To re-phrase the key idea: the more science and human knowledge advances the more miraculous our world appears to be.

    I wonder why in the “Does God exists?” debates the following strong arguments are never (or rarely) brought up front:

    A1. Because we humans exists

    A2. Because the Human Mind exists

    A3. Because life exists

    A4. Because we cannot create artificial life

    A5. Because we cannot create an artificial Mind/Brain

    A6. Because we cannot create a Planet for example.
    (see http://invivoveritasest.blogspot.com/ )

    A7. Because we live in a MIRACULOUS world.

    Maybe a better way to express this paradox is this:


    No matter how much efforts are made to remove the miraculous from the front end of the most rigorous scientific research it inevitably pops-up at the end of it.

  4. Wait…but the computer does provide a meta-language…

    “vc9}l#fg..$”

    That’s the answer^>..we just don’t understand it right now. The same reason there are lots of what looks like to us “molecular junk” in the DNA. As ID proponents we believe that those sequences have function. We just don’t understand what right now.

    The same goes with giving a child a book..or an english speaker a chinese book. He will look at that the same way we are looking at the answer “vc9}l#fg..$”. He needs to apply that collection of symbols to “something” that exists. Therefore, the computer is smart!

  5. Also…The the computer is intelligent. I don’t think you can deny that. When looking again at the apple syllogism. I said the same thing the computer said! It was only after I realized that the judge could be accused of equivocation, which means that the judge himself is using a logical fallacy, that I came to the understanding that I can NOT answer the question unless more information is given.

    The second part is also interesting. Some jokes are not funny to some people. It’s all based on how intelligent you are, if a joke is funny enough. The computer is thinking, just not as intelligently as a human has the capacity to be. Therefore, Artificial intelligence is undeniable.

  6. As always, good comments from all UD readers, thank you.

    One of the funny things of AI is that when a human invents TTs (myself did it four time above, just for fun) there must be a programmer somewhere who works hard developing software to install into the computer for trying to pass them. It doesn’t hold the inverse. This asymmetric situation is due to the fact that human intelligence can create real information (by the way, additional thanks to our always-knowledged bornagain77 for gently having referenced a paper focusing exactly on this truth), while computers per se cannot.

  7. 7

    @niwrad:

    that human intelligence can create real information

    There’s no evidence for such a claim. The paper argues that only free will is capable of creating new information. However, the ONLY being that is known to have free will is god.

  8. JWTruthInLove #7

    Human designs are evidence of creation of information. Yes, God, Who is Unity, is absolutely free (given He is One and Unique, who or what could limit Him?). But He also concedes a relative freedom to us, and we can use it to create information and design (among other things). There is relation between free will and intelligence. To summarize, we are relatively free, intelligent and designers because of the absolute power of God, Who is perfect freedom, supreme Intelligence and great Designer.

    Ok, metaphysically, from an absolute point of view, our “creation” of information is not something-from-nothing, rather a flow from the infinite Source of information (God) to the cosmos, triggered by us. There is no real “invention” in the sense of something-from-nothing. Again Plato: knowledge is reminiscence.

  9. 9

    @niwrad:

    But He also concedes a relative freedom to us.

    A claim without evidence.

    There is relation between free will and intelligence.

    It depends on the definition of “intelligence”. If “intelligence” entails “free will”, then you have no evidence that any human (besides god) is “intelligent”.

    Ok, metaphysically, from an absolute point of view, our “creation” of information is not something-from-nothing

    The paper claims that free will can create “new information”. There’s nothing in this paper that indicates that this “new information” is transferred for an inifinite source of information. (Intuitively I would say that this transferred information you’re referring to cannot be the “new information”.)

  10. JWTruthInLove #9

    You seem to deny your relative freedom. If your situation is this, I wonder what forces you to post comments or to do whatever.

    Intelligence implies choices, then at least a relative freedom. When one is fully coerced can choose nothing.

  11. 11

    @niwrad:
    I don’t know what you mean by “choose”. In a colloquial sense software can make decisions.
    And… I don’t care much how you define “intelligence”, whether it involves “choosing” (which you can define as being an exclusive property/ability of “intelligence”) or not, is not important. I will still question human’s ability to create new information.

  12. JWTruthInLove #11

    Thanks for engaging in this nice and calm conversation (it seems here remains you and me).

    Well, software, when running on a computer, executes instructions that make decisions. Decisions are forced by the instructions. So, those decisions, at the very end, are made by the programmer, not by the software, much less by the hardware.

    Differently, humans make decisions not forced by pre-existent instructions. In this sense I mean “choose”.

    I will still question human’s ability to create new information.

    I already explained the various viewpoints from which we can consider the concept of “creation of new information”. Sorry if I admit that your position seems a bit odd to me. I am used to debate evolutionists who even claim that chance and necessity are able to create new information. While you deny human’s ability to create new information… “the world is beautiful because is various”, they say in my country.

  13. 13

    @niwrad:

    Well, software, when running on a computer, executes instructions that make decisions. Decisions are forced by the instructions. So, those decisions, at the very end, are made by the programmer, not by the software, much less by the hardware.

    Differently, humans make decisions not forced by pre-existent instructions. In this sense I mean “choose”.

    In this case obviously I question a human’s ability to “choose”.

    Am I correct to assume that you think that free will makes the “free” (not forced by pre-existent instructions) decision-making YOU describe possible. However if by “not forced by pre-existent instructions” you mean “not forced by any currently known aggregation of physical processes”, then I agree (and everyone else agrees, too) that we have the ability to “choose”, and therefore have free will.

    I already explained the various viewpoints from which we can consider the concept of “creation of new information”. Sorry if I admit that your position seems a bit odd to me. I am used to debate evolutionists who even claim that chance and necessity are able to create new information. While you deny human’s ability to create new information…

    It’s all semantics. As long as everyone uses different meanings, no common ground can be achieved. My experience shows that most darwinists and trinitarians (UD, TSZ, …) do not want to understand the other side. Instead they argue endlessly over cultural warfare doctrines without a common glossary. It’s comical… and unproductive.

  14. JWTruthInLove #13

    I think that we don’t disagree so much after all.

    No problem in fact about to agree on the importance of what you call “glossary” (terminology, definitions, a priori principles, logic and so on).

    The same about free will meant as something “not forced by any currently known aggregation of physical processes”. Here I don’t know if I understand correctly your distinguo respect to “not forced by pre-existent instructions”. I could be wrong, but you seem to say that humans may be in principle free respect the physical while partially forced respect the … psychical, or something like that. Again here I could agree at least partially. I am used to say that the relative freedom of an intelligent being is not a Boolean, digital quantity (0 or 1) rather a continuum from total constriction (0) to total freedom (1), which only the Being has. For the beings in the cosmos, the range is not inclusive of the extreme. In fact a being with freedom = 0, at the very end, would be not even properly a “being”. And a being with freedom = 1, would be fully identified with the Being.

  15. 15

    We seem to digress from the topic.
    My argument was that there’s no evidence that humans can create new information, because there’s no evidence that humans have free will.
    You define free will as “not forced by pre-existent instructions”. Then what is it forced by? What does it consist of? How can I scientifically test whether something has free will?

  16. JWTruthInLove #15

    Freedom is a consequence of “being”. It is a property of any living being and distinguishes him from a material object. To say that a being is not, at least partially, free is to identify him to a material object, i.e. to deny his very “being”. Any being directly experiments his freedom. This experience is somehow over-rational. So to ask a “scientific test” for free will is like to ask to “open a open door”. In fact science begins with reason and here we are over-rational or ante-rational. Free will is “a priori” while reason is “a posteriori”, so to speak.

    This is what I believe. But I admit it, I am non Cartesian. In the sense that I don’t affirm “Cogito ergo sum”, rather “Sum ergo cogito”. IOW I state eminency of ontology respect psychology. Of course, you are perfectly free to believe me or not … what? “perfectly free”? oh my God, you are forced to believe me! :)

  17. 17

    @niwrad:

    Freedom is a consequence of “being”. It is a property of any living being and distinguishes him from a material object.

    What’s the evidence that we have this property?

    So to ask a “scientific test” for free will is like to ask to “open a open door”.

    I don’t understand the analogy.

    oh my God, you are forced to believe me!

    That’s the thing we want to solve.

    Niwrad, you defined your terms (and I accept them). Now let’s see whether we, humans, actually do exhibit free will. I have no idea how to do that.

  18. JWTruthInLove #17

    Likely our conversation is in a loop. However, it is my intention to elaborate a little on these issues (which are somehow tangential here) and eventually start a new dedicated UD thread. This would have also the pro of giving opportunity to others to express their opinion about. Bye.

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